Boston Red Sox: Is free agent Kyle Schwarber suddenly off the table?

Kyle Schwarber, Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Schwarber, Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The addition of the DH to the National League puts a dent in a reunion between the Boston Red Sox and Kyle Schwarber.

The DH is coming to the National League and probably not going away in our lifetime. For the Boston Red Sox, that means 15 more teams became a perfect fit for free agent Kyle Schwarber.

Schwarber powered his way into the hearts of Bostonians last year with a .291/.435/.522 slash line in his 168 plate appearances. He added 7 home runs, 10 doubles, and 18 RBI in a short yet productive stint for the club.

A reunion with Schwarber makes a ton of sense. However, with many more teams now needing a productive bat like his, another year in Boston may no longer be on the table.

Boston Red Sox competition for Kyle Schwarber increased

Schwarber was built for the DH role. Originally a catcher who found himself playing in left field for most of his major league career, a move from the National League to the American League made perfect sense for him.

Not so much anymore. Now that baseball is changing with all 30 teams needing to have a designated hitter, the door is wide open for Schwarber. He can sign anywhere and give the club what he does best: offensive production.

Schwarber has had a bit of an up-and-down career. Last season’s .266/.374/.554 slash line all set new career highs. He would have certainly reached a new personal best in home runs and RBI if not for missing significant action due to injury. He played in only 113 games and had 471 plate appearances. He’s trending in the right direction but definitely not someone with a fat enough resume to put a whole lot of trust in.

This is still a lifetime .237/.343/.493 hitter with limitations. Most notably, he has only played in 140+ games once. The back of his baseball card also includes just a single year hitting over .250—the most recent campaign in 2021.

The Red Sox are well-equipped to get by without a DH like Schwarber in the lineup. That’s J.D. Martinez’s job, at least for another year. Schwarber’s time in Boston included games at first base, left field, and in the DH spot. He’s flexible but not so much in a desirable way.

Schwarber’s time in Boston may be best remembered for his success in the first two rounds of the postseason, taking down the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Then the hiccup came in the ALCS when he went just 3 for 25 versus the Houston Astros.

Still a match to possibly return to the Red Sox and provide them some of the best pure power in baseball, expect Schwarber to take advantage of the more open DH market and take a deal with someone else.

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